BMW Charity Pro-AM Celebrity and Community Events Lineup

    BMW Charity Pro-AM Celebrity and Community Events Lineup

    Come out and join us at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX tournament taking place June 9-12 at Thornblade Club in Greer and The Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg. We will have a fun line up of celebrities ranging from professional athletes, actors, golf influencers, and musicians. Some of the celebrities attending include Country Music Artist George Birge as well as Country Pop Musician Jay DeMarcus from the Rascal Flatts, Comedian Larry the Cable Guy, Television Actors Andy Buckley and Brian Baumgarter from the Office, and Anthony Anderson from Black-ish, as well as Professional Boxer Canelo Álvarez, and LPGA Hall of Famer, Amy Alcott. So even if golf is not your thing, come out to see your favorite celebrities, and/or sign up to volunteer at the Carolina Country club!

    The tournament will include many fun events for the community such as A Night with The Marshall Tucker Band presented by The Johnson Group in Daniel Morgan Square on Tuesday, June 7th. There will also be many other exciting events to engage with during and leading up to the tournament such as the First Tee of the Upstate Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken at The Carolina Country Club driving range on Monday, June 6th from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. The South Carolina Junior Golf Association Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken on Tuesday, June 7th at 5:00 p.m at Thornblade Country club. As well as the Spanish Speaking Junior Golf Clinic presented by Pacolet Milliken at The Carolina Country Club driving range on Wednesday, June 8th at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday there will also be a Women’s Golf Clinic and Luncheon at The Carolina Country Club with Amy Alcott and Friends from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m which will include all of the tournament’s female celebrities, a golf clinic, lunch, speakers, and lots of awesome local shops and vendors.

    June 9th from 7:30-10:30 p.m. there will be a Thursday Night Shootout with live music and entertainment at 3’s Greenville Golf & Grill. And June 10th there will be the Friday Night Concert presented by MAGNA featuring Generation Radio: Deen Castronovo (Journey), Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) and Jason Scheff (Chicago) at Camperdown Plaza in Greenville.

    If you are interested there are a limited number of VIP ticket experiences and sponsorship opportunities are available for purchase for the Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening events and the Wednesday Ladies Clinic. Please visit www.bmwcharitygolf.com or contact the tournament office to reserve tickets or inquire about sponsorships.

    All the funds raised during the 2022 BMW Charity Pro-Am will benefit our incredible five featured charities: Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Roper Mountain Science Center, Cancer Society of Greenville County, Meyer Center for Special Children and Gibbs Cancer Center and Research Institute. The community is also invited to take part in the tournament’s annual Birdies for Charity program, which will continue to raise dollars by enabling individual donors to make a one-time flat donation or pledge one cent or more per birdie during the tournament.

    We would love for you to come out and join in on all the fun community events, sign up to volunteer, and contribute to the incredible local charities that do so much for the Upstate area. To learn more about this year’s volunteer opportunities visit here or email cassadzandi@sccharities.org.  To learn more or to purchase tickets to the 2022 tournament, visit BMWCharityGolf.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    100 Years of Lions in South Carolina

    100 Years of Lions in South Carolina

    Since 1922 South Carolinians have been coming together to serve the Palmetto State through Lions Clubs, first in Columbia, Spartanburg, Orangeburg, Anderson, and Greenville, then in communities statewide. In 1925 their focus became vision and hearing services following Helen Keller’s challenge to be “Knights of the Blind” in the crusade against darkness at the International Convention in Cedar Point, Ohio. For over a century Lions have continued to help the blind and visually impaired in South Carolina and advocate for them at a time when public perception and prejudices viewed them as incapable, but there was a need to do more.

    This year marks the 100th anniversary of South Carolina’s first Lions Clubs, including three in the Upstate: Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg. The Anderson and Spartanburg Clubs have announced plans to celebrate the milestone with a commemorative event in their respective communities. The Spartanburg Lions Club will host Lions Club International President Douglas X. Alexander of Brooklyn, New York at the 1881 Event Hall on Saturday, May 14, 2022. One of South Carolina’s own Upstate members is presently serving on the International Board of Directors, Dr. Dianne J. Pitts of the Greenwood Lions Club. The Spartanburg Lions Club is also home to Past International Director Dr. Eugene Spiess, who is a retired college administrator and instructor.

    Through the years South Carolina Lions have helped respond to countless natural disasters by securing funding from the Lions Clubs International Foundation, managed an annual International Youth Exchange with students from dozens of foreign countries, provided hundreds of affordable eye surgeries to low-income families through their state charity known as Lions Vision Services, built a new accessible playground for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, funded two floors of the expanded Storm Eye Institute at MUSC to conduct research on blindness, provided tens of thousands of free vision screenings to South Carolina students, and conduct fishing tournaments and camps for the blind across the state, just to name a few.

    Today Lions Clubs serve the community through programs addressing diabetes, the environment, hunger, vision, and childhood cancer. There are more than 3,000 Lions Club members and 124 Clubs across the state, which are part of a global network of more than 1.4 million volunteers worldwide serving in over 200 countries and geographic areas. Visit lionsclubs.org to learn more and to find the local Lions Club in your community today!

    Meet the Upstarters Making the Most of the Upstate

    Meet the Upstarters Making the Most of the Upstate

    Meet the Upstarters Making the Most of the Upstate

    Abundance of jobs & advancement opportunities drive region’s magnetism

    Cherry blossoms blooming, green returning to trees, and temperatures rising combine to make spring one of the best times to live it up in the Upstate.

    And our secret’s catching on: with an average of 34 people per day moving to the Upstate and South Carolina ranked the 2nd most popular moving destination in 2020, there’s a magnetism to our region.

    So what’s attracting people to move up, make more and build their best lives in the Upstate? Boundless career opportunities ⁠— 260,000+ unique job postings from 11,330+ employers — mixed with superb quality of life.

    Move Up, an initiative of the Upstate SC Alliance created to connect employers and talent, has a job board to help you tap into Upstate career opportunities from creative services to manufacturing and engineering.

    Looking for inspiration or stories to tell your friends? Read on to meet the Upstarters making the most of life in the Upstate.

    ‘Opportunities to make an impact’: Michael Judice

    Michael Judice, a Virginia native, loves the sense of community he’s found in Spartanburg since moving here a few years ago.

    It’s a contrast to his 13 years spent in New York City, Philadelphia and Charlotte, where Michael gained experience with world-renowned architecture firms though felt the lifestyle was too expensive and “a hustle all the time.” Today, he works with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture’s Community Studio, helping to design projects like a parking garage, police operations building and massive redevelopment sites.

    Looking for a location to grow their family and make a community impact, Michael and wife Cathryn moved to her native Spartanburg, where Michael’s applied his design love into renovating a craftsman bungalow. And they find life is the right speed here: walkable to downtown Spartanburg and a Happy Hollow Park, where they love to unwind with their three boys.

    With the return of farmer’s markets, you can catch him planning recipes at the Hub City Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings — a perfect pairing of hobby and passion, as he serves on the Hub City Farmer’s Market Board of Directors.

    “What I really like about the Upstate is that there are better opportunities here to make an impact in the local community. It’s small enough to actually effect change, and to get involved.”

    Setting roots in Seneca: Allison Pursley Moran

    Allison Pursley Moran, a Seneca native, never imagined building her life in the Upstate.

    Six years after returning from the University of Alabama, she’s deepening her roots here and progressing through her company’s ranks.

    As branch manager for the Greenville office of ECS Limited, Allison leads a team of 25 engineers, project managers and field technicians who perform due diligence, testing and ongoing code and specification review for construction sites.

    “It blows my mind when I think about what I’ve been able to work up to within six years,” she adds, noting that the firm propelled her advancement from field technician through engineering certificate training and pursuing her Professional Engineer license.

    “As long as you give back to a company that’s investing in you, you’re going to keep moving up,” she adds.

    Allison and her husband, Andrew, welcomed a baby boy in December 2021, and they find the Upstate a perfect place to grow their family.

    The pair loves to make the most of the scenic outdoors with their dog Sancho – taking in the dense concentration of waterfalls during hikes in Oconee County, or enjoying days on the water at Lake Keowee or Lake Hartwell.

    “We’re so close to the mountains, we could hit anywhere from four to 10 waterfalls in a day,” she says.

    A sweet spot for creatives: Jehan Wills

    If you put Jehan Willls’ previous residences on a spectrum, you’d find a charming, Southern small Kentucky town at one end and the tree-lined streets of the nation’s capital at the other.

    In between, you’ll find Mauldin, South Carolina, the supportive, “right size” atmosphere Jehan now calls home.

    And what a journey she’s had: since moving to downtown Greenville in 2019, she and her husband purchased a home and welcomed twin boys. Shortly after, Jehan was promoted to Senior Marketing Manager with McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture.

    A marketing and communications pro with diverse experience, Jehan honed her skills working in commercial real estate in Charlotte before moving to Washington, D.C., as a Marketing Coordinator for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), a global architecture firm known for projects like the Burj Khalifa. There, she handled business development, proposals, and qualification efforts.

    A graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in Corporate Communication, Jehan has always been interested in the intersection of marketing, business development, and communication— the sweet spot where she applies her creative energy today.

    “I feel very fortunate to work with an understanding and collaborative team. I look forward to exploring my new role—both professionally and personally.”

    In her off time, Jehan and family love to make the most of Greenville’s amenities, from outdoor eateries like Gather GVL to strolling Falls Park to visiting the Greenville Zoo with their one-year-old boys.

    Join the Movement

    Whether you’re interested in finding a job in Upstate SC or telling all your friends to make the move up and experience more in Upstate SC, you, too can join the movement.

    Find a Job: Big names in business, technology and financial services maintain major headquarters operations in the Upstate, which means a range of open positions, including in marketing and sales, human resources, IT and much more. Explore the Move Up job board to find a job in Upstate SC today.

    Get Social: share how you’re living your best life in Upstate SC by tagging #MoveUpSC and #UpstateVibe365 on social. Are you up for it?

    LaShonn Edmunds CAIRS Story

    LaShonn Edmunds CAIRS Story

    Hello, my name is LaShonn Edmunds and I’m so nervous and excited all at the same time because I’m actually going to expose my medical issue to the world. Scary! However, I hope and pray that my story will help somebody else.

    I have a chronic disease called Primary Lymphedema-Tarda. Some of you may ask what in the world is that! I know I asked the same thing! To my surprise, most people never heard of it …not even doctors! Talk about scary! In fact, I was misdiagnosed by several doctors for a couple of years because of their lack of knowledge about the disease. Of course, this is not the doctor’s fault because they only receive about one hour’s worth of lymphatic diseases training during their four years in college. Let me explain how the medical community figured it out that I had this disease.

    The doctor’s tried to figure out what was wrong with my by testing me for heart diseases, vein issues, gout, diabetes, cancer, thyroids and they could not come up with anything. The doctor’s final prognosis was I’m overweight and I need to watch my salt intake. He prescribed me some fluid pills and sent me on way. Let’s keep in mind I was 24 years old and just had my 3rd child and weighed about 145lbs! So you can imagine how I felt my doctor just told me I was fat!! Even though I am a strong African-American woman those words from my doctor cut like a knife. My thoughts were “I just had a baby a few years ago and I’ve never been a small woman. Come on… is obesity the real answer to my feet swelling! Don’t argue Shonn just Go Get K.I.M! (Keep It Moving!)”  The doctor just gave me a life mission “lose weight to reduce the swelling”. In my mind, I’m now on a mission to get fit! Surely this will fix me and I will be healthy again.

    Getting fit didn’t work out too well! New baby, work, and marriage…just too much on my plate. My swelling was there but hey I could still wear my shoes so no big deal. Until one day I was outside and got bit by a bug. I kept picking at the scar and my leg got infected! Next thing I know I passed out at work and was rushed to the hospital. Two blood transfusions and two days in the hospital later they advised that I developed cellulitis! What in the world is that! EXACTLY! No real explanation from anyone but was told to follow-up with my doctor that it was just a bad infection.

    I tried to follow-up with my doctor but this particular day he did not have any appointments so they sent me to the nurse practitioner. I say she was an angel sent from heaven! My nurse practitioner explained to me what cellulitis was and also asked me a million questions, reviewed my charts and opened a book and said…I figured out what’s wrong with you…. you have LYMPHEDEMA! I was Excited, Thrilled, Relieved! Yes, I got something and you know how to fix it…give me my medicine and send me on my way! Then the excitement quickly stopped as she pronounced my death sentence….” I’m sorry there is NO CURE! ” This is where my story begins……

    Now that I’ve received this horrible fate it came with some horrible lifestyle changes. One big one was that I could no longer wear fashionable shoes. I was so distraught because I absolutely love shoes. I work in a corporate environment where wearing casual or dress shoes is a must. At this point the only thing I could wear were shoes two sizes to big or flip flops. I was so embarrassed and depressed until God gave me a vision! He gave me the idea to become an inventor and create shoes cute comfortable shoes for women with swollen feet. I did exactly that and started my company CAIRS Shoes. Our shoes are comfortable Tru-Stretch shoes that will expand out and up. They are cute and fashionable too.

    During my journey of inventing CAIRS Shoes I received a lot of help from various mentors within Greenville, South Carolina. Each mentor helped me in various phases of developing my shoes. I am so extremely grateful for each of them because I could not have made it without them. Below is a quick list of a few of them that support me on the journey:

    • Leadership Development – Sr. Pastor Wendall Jones – Wendell Jones Leadership Institute
    • Ideation – Bill Little – Engineer mentor
    • Design – William Rowe – Rowe Shoe Cobbler
    • Prototype – Joey Loman – Synergymill
    • Financial Planning – Bill Heitz – Score
    • Operations – Beth Veach – Entrepreneur Acumen Consultant
    • Medical Advice – Dr. William Long – Upstate Podiatry
    • Medical Shoe Expert – Shelly Simmering Esq – Pedorthist
    • Startup Business Development – Jeanette Brewster – Village Launch
    • Advance Business Development – Bryan Davis – GVL Starts

    As you can see my city and community truly supports my vision. Each mentor gave me some unique experience that elevated my progress to be able to reach my goal of ready to sell shoes. We are excited to announce that we are now in final production and as long as COVID doesn’t slow us up, we will begin selling in March!

    BMW Charity Pro-Am Volunteer Registration NOW OPEN

    BMW Charity Pro-Am Volunteer Registration NOW OPEN

    Volunteer registration is now open for the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX.

    Tournament Dates: June 9-12 at Thornblade Club and June 9 & 10 at The Carolina Country Club

    No experience necessary and you do not have to know anything about golf to participate! Opportunities for everyone 14 and up.

    BMW Charity Pro-Am 2021 Thornblade Country Club

    It takes over 800 volunteers to make the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX a success and the perks of volunteering make the opportunity one that can’t be missed.

    For a cost of $40.00 volunteers will receive the below items, all thanks to our Official Volunteer Sponsor Pelham Medical Center:

    • Official OOBE polo
    • Cap or visor
    • Two Patron Credentials
    • 2022 memorable pin
    • Breakfast and lunch each day you work
    • Daily happy hour

    The best part, for every day you work $20.00 is donated to the charity of your choice.

    Come join us to raise money and awareness for charities in the Upstate!

    Sign up HERE

    BMW Charity Pro-Am 2021

    BMW CHARITY PRO-AM PRESENTED BY TD SYNNEX.

    South Carolina Charities, Inc. (SCCI), the non-profit foundation of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by TD SYNNEX, was created to showcase the beauty of Upstate South Carolina and the hospitality of its citizens to the world; to create an event that brings the Upstate a fun and entertaining week centered around professional athletes and world-renowned celebrities; and raise money and awareness for South Carolina charities. Since 2001, the tournament has distributed $14.3 million to charities in the Upstate, part of the PGA TOUR’s $3 billion raised for charity.

    Urban League of the Upstate Celebrates 50 Years of Service

    Urban League of the Upstate Celebrates 50 Years of Service

    Dr. Gail Wilson Awan CEO, Urban League of the Upstate

    This Black History Month we can also celebrate the 50-year legacy of the Urban League of the Upstate, one of the most impactful and innovative Urban League Affiliates in the country. The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The Urban League is the oldest and largest community-based organization of its kind and in the nation. In 1970, a small group of citizens from Greenville met in the basement of the Springfield Baptist Church with one goal in mind. To create a community-based organization committee to the principle of equal opportunity for all citizens in housing, education, employment and economic development without regard to race or socioeconomic status.

    In 1972, The National Urban League Executive Director, Vernon E. Jordan came to Greenville to meet with community representatives who chartered the new Greenville League; the Urban League received its charter from the National Urban League. In 1997, understanding the needs of the Upstate Region, the name was changed to reflect the population served by the Urban League of the Upstate. Today, more than ever before, we believe firmly in our everyday commitment to our mission and vision through focus on our purpose and Call to Action. The Urban League model of excellence shines through where each day many determined working men and women, scholars, entrepreneurs, homeowners, and advocates participate in a diverse array of classes and resources to meet their goals including college preparatory workshops, mentoring activities, parental enrichment activities, job readiness skills, foreclosure prevention and health screenings.

    We are thrilled to partner with Ten at the Top and share the vision of collaboration, coordination and cooperation. We are truly stronger together. On February 17th, 2022 the Urban League of the Upstate will celebrate our 50 years of service at our Golden Jubilee Gala. This event is an evening designed to recognize individuals and companies that support the work of the ULUS. Together with our partners we will celebrate our achievements to educate and empower the Black and underserved individuals throughout the regions while supporting our commitment to provide education, housing, and workforce development. The gala celebrates the significant accomplishments of local leaders and organizations who embody the agency’s mission to advance equity by empowering the Black community and underserved individuals. This event raises funds to support our empowerment programs that focus on quality education, affordable, safe, and quality housing, job training and an equitable law and justice system.

    For more information about the organization and the Whitney M. Young Jr. 50th Anniversary, Golden Jubilee, please visit our website urbanleagueupstate.org By Dr. Gail Wilson Awan, President, Urban League of the Upstate.